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2021.10.20 16:41

Belarus moving migrants stuck at Polish border to Lithuania, officials say

BNS2021.10.20 16:41

Belarusian officers have been channeling irregular migrants, pushed back by Poland, into Lithuania, Rustamas Liubajevas, the commander of the State Border Guard Service (VSAT), said on Wednesday. 

"Over the last week, we have seen an increase in illegal migration flows at the border with Belarus," Liubajevas told reporters.

"We can now state that Belarus' law enforcement authorities facilitated the transportation of irregular migrants, who had not been allowed to enter Poland, to the Lithuanian border," the border guard chief said.

"The process of pushing these irregular migrants into the territory of Lithuania is underway," he added.

On Wednesday, Lithuania also handed a diplomatic note to Belarus in protest over repeated violations of the border.

"On October 18, a Belarusian border guard violated the Lithuanian state border at Varėna Frontier District,” the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

The ministry "requested Belarus to provide an explanation of the incident as soon as possible and to take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents from recurring".

The Foreign Ministry "also condemned the orchestration by Belarusian authorities of the flows of illegal migrants from Belarus, the ongoing repression against the civil society" and "called for the release of all political prisoners and unlawfully detained people".

Read more: Migration crisis in Baltics and Poland

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